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British Horse Society calls for all riding hats to be VAT free, in line with motorcycle and cycle helmets

The BHS is appealing to the government to remove VAT from riding hats to encourage more riders to use headwear which complies with the current safety standards.

“The BHS would like the government to remove VAT from all riding hats, bringing horse riders in line with cyclists and motor cyclists,” said Sheila Hardy, head of safety at the BHS. “VAT was removed from cycle helmets in the last budget, while motor cycle helmets have been VAT-free for some time.

“At present the rider, who is already a vulnerable road user, is being put at a financial disadvantage when it comes to their own safety.”

Although under-14s are required by law to wear a riding hat while hacking on roads and children’s hats are VAT exempt, the purchase price of adult hats includes the 17.5% tax. Reflective clothing of all sizes is also subject to VAT.

“The BHS is constantly campaigning to improve road safety and advises riders of all ages to wear a hat of current safety standard at all times as well as high-visibility clothing when riding on the road. The removal of VAT from these products would be a major step forward towards improving rider safety both on and off the road,” said Sheila.

Riders who would like to support the BHS campaign should send a letter of support to the British Horse Society, Safety Department, Stoneleigh Deer Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2XZ, or email S.Hardy@bhs.org.uk with VAT in the subject box.